2017/18 Visma Ski Clas­sics

Fab­u­lous XC Ski Events for Pros & Ama­teurs

SkiTrax - - Out In Front - By San­dra Wal­ter

As snow starts to fly and ski swaps pop up in towns across the con­ti­nent, Nordic fever is build­ing for the 2017-18 sea­son. Once again, the Visma Ski Clas­sics will of­fer an ex­cit­ing se­ries of mass-start long-dis­tance Clas­sic-tech­nique events in Europe that see 5,000 to 18,000 par­tic­i­pants – Pros and ama­teurs alike – mix­ing it up at each race.

To make things even more thrilling, through­out the se­ries, skiers will vie for the cov­eted leader’s bibs in the over­all, sprint, climber, youth and team com­pe­ti­tions, with ti­tles awarded at the end of the sea­son.

The ac­tion kicks off with the Pro­logue in Pon­tresina, Switzer­land on Nov. 26. The sec­ond an­nual Pro Team Tempo, which acts as a team presentation of sorts, gives the Pro teams a chance to in­tro­duce their new ath­letes and uni­forms for the sea­son in this Pur­suit-style team event. Next up is the 35km Sgambeda, held in north­ern Italy’s beau­ti­ful Livi­gno val­ley on Dec. 2.

Af­ter more than a month’s break, the se­ries will re­sume in Aus­tria with the 60km Kaiser Max­im­i­lan Lauf, fol­lowed a week later by the 65km La Di­agonela in St. Moritz, Switzer­land. The ac­tion con­tin­ues full bore with the al­ready sold-out 70km Mar­cia­longa in Trentino, while Round Six stays in Italy for the 50km Toblach-cortina, tak­ing ath­letes from Dob­bi­aco to Cortina on the same route used since 1977.

It’s off to the Czech Repub­lic on Feb. 18 for the 51st edi­tion of the 50km Jiz­er­ska in Bedri­chov.

Started in 1922, the long­est event of the se­ries, Swe­den’s 90km Vasa­lop­pet, is sold out on March 4. The his­toric 54km Birke­bein­erren­net takes place in Nor­way on March 17, which, ac­cord­ing to leg­end, is based on the royal res­cue of a tod­dler prince in the year 1205.

Nor­way hosts a sec­ond race on April 7 – the 50km Reis­tadløpet. Founded in 1958 and held 56 times, one hardy soul has par­tic­i­pated in the event a whop­ping 53 times, while two oth­ers have con­tested it 50 times.

New to the Visma Ski Clas­sics cal­en­dar, the 67km Yl­läs-levi in Fin­land will wrap up the 2017-18 sea­son on April 14. A cross-coun­try-ski­ing haven, the Yl­läs-levi area boasts 550 kilo­me­tres of main­tained Nordic ski tracks and snow for seven months of the year.

For those who can’t make it to Europe for ev­ery race, let alone one, there’s a new way to keep up on the lat­est from the Visma Ski Clas­sics this sea­son, cour­tesy of the se­ries’ new Ski Clas­sics Play app (play.vis­mas­k­i­clas­sics.com). With a sub­scrip­tion, it al­lows fol­low­ers to watch all the races live and gives them ex­clu­sive ac­cess to a his­tor­i­cal video li­brary and ex­tra video ma­te­rial from the par­tic­i­pat­ing Pro teams. The app is the only way for view­ers in Canada and the U.S. to live-stream the Visma Ski Clas­sics. No sub­scrip­tion? Fans can still fol­low along with live time at the Visma Ski Clas­sics Live Cen­ter on www.vis­mas­k­i­clas­sics.com.

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an­nounced the in­clu­sion of a women's Nordic-com­bined event at the 2018 US Na­tional Cham­pi­onships to be held Oct. 7 in Lake Placid, N.Y. Among other de­ci­sions made at the IOC meet­ing, it was de­ter­mined that ski moun­taineer­ing will be in­cluded for the first time in Lau­sanne.

T-bay Awarded 2020 Spe­cial Olympics Canada Win­ter Games

In Au­gust, Spe­cial Olympics Canada an­nounced that Thun­der Bay, Ont. has been awarded the 2020 Spe­cial Olympics Canada Win­ter Games. The other fi­nal­ist was Regina, Sask.

The bid theme was “Hearts of Gold” to high­light lo­cal com­mu­nity spirit and the fact that 2020 will be Thun­der Bay's 50th (golden) an­niver­sary. In 1970, the City of Thun­der Bay was formed from the fu­sion of Fort Wil­liam and Port Arthur.

The Spe­cial Olympics Canada Games be­gan in 1974, and are na­tional multi-sport Games for ath­letes with an in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­ity. The Win­ter Games are sched­uled ev­ery four years and were last held in Cor­ner Brook, Nfld. in 2016, where the es­ti­mated eco­nomic im­pact was $5.4 mil­lion. The event in­cludes alpine ski­ing, five-pin bowl­ing, cross-coun­try ski­ing, curl­ing, fig­ure skat­ing, floor hockey, snow­shoe­ing and speed skat­ing. The Games will re­quire ap­prox­i­mately 750 vol­un­teers and a bud­get of more than $2 mil­lion. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to www.spe­cialolympics.ca.

Anti-dop­ing Agen­cies Call for Rus­sian Ban at Pyeongchang 2018

A group of 17 of the world's lead­ing anti-dop­ing agen­cies that com­prise the Na­tional Anti-dop­ing Or­ga­ni­za­tion (NADO) have called on the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) to hold Rus­sia ac­count­able for what it calls “one of the big­gest scan­dals in sports his­tory,” and ban Rus­sia from Olympic Win­ter Games (OWG) in Pyeongchang, South Korea from Feb. 9-25, 2018.

“The IOC needs to stop kick­ing the can down the road and im­me­di­ately is­sue mean­ing­ful con­se­quences. The fail­ure to ex­pe­di­tiously in­ves­ti­gate in­di­vid­ual Rus­sian ath­lete dop­ing poses a dan­ger for clean ath­letes world­wide and at the 2018 Win­ter Games,” said NADO in a press re­lease fol­low­ing a meet­ing in Den­ver, Colo. “We have se­ri­ous doubts that the 2018 Games will be clean due to the in­com­plete in­ves­ti­ga­tion of in­di­vid­ual dop­ing by Rus­sian ath­letes at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games and given the in­ad­e­quate test­ing ev­i­dence of Rus­sian ath­letes over the past four years.”

Our Snow­fac­tory pro­duces 3.6 cu­bic me­tres of snow an hour at an am­bi­ent out­door tem­per­a­ture up to 60° Fahren­heit. This pro­duc­tion rate is the ac­tual mea­sured quan­tity with our Snow­fac­tory, and the rate re­mains the same at all tem­per­a­tures at and be­low 60°. We have not tested it yet above 60°, but other sites have suc­cess­fully made snow up to 80° Fahren­heit. The av­er­age tan­dem dump truck holds be­tween eight to 11 cu­bic me­tres of prod­uct. At the 3.6-cu­bic-me­tres pro­duc­tion rate per hour, we make 86.4 cu­bic me­tres per day and 604.8 cu­bic me­tres of snow per week.

The Snow­fac­tory uses 11 gal­lons of wa­ter a minute that we pull from a ground well on site. One hun­dred per­cent of the wa­ter is turned into snow that is on site. The process has no loss to wind. Wa­ter tem­per­a­ture does have an ef­fect on the pro­duc­tion rate. Our ground­wa­ter is 41° Fahren­heit; gen­er­ally speak­ing a colder wa­ter tem­per­a­ture pro­duces slightly more snow over time. Snow from the Snow­fac­tory is blown out of the ma­chine through a six-inch pipe. We use ei­ther a ridged or flex­i­ble pipe de­pend­ing on our needs, and have blown snow suc­cess­fully up to 280 me­tres from the Snow­fac­tory.

The op­er­a­tion of the ma­chine re­quires min­i­mal em­ploy­ees, as all of the sys­tem and snow pro­duc­tion are con­tained in a ship­ping con­tainer. The Snow­fac­tory can be op­er­ated re­motely from a com­puter or smart­phone. We have a cou­ple ded­i­cated em­ploy­ees at Mount Van Ho­even­berg who main­tain and over­see the pro­duc­tion of snow with the Snow­fac­tory. For the most part, out­side of start-up and shut-

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